At 10am, the announcement went out over the intercom systems at Sharing and Caring Hands: “Anyone who signed up for the T-shirt Art Project can head down the the community room!” Moments later, the project was overflowing with kids. That previous Thursday, we had 50 kids sign up, and on Saturday, the 75 t-shirts we brought flew onto the painting tables like hot-cakes! All tolled: the estimated eighty kids, four adults, LOTS of paint and markers, rousing games of bingo – well, we played “BRUSH,” – and stickers created an unforgettable two hours of self-expression and community.
Mary’s Place is an amazing facility within the Sharing and Caring Hands organization, that provides food, shelter, healthcare, training, structure, and safety to over 90 families at any given time. Depending on the week, there could be more than 400 kids living at Mary’s Place. The founder, Mary Jo, is a spunky gal, who has been around for over 80 years, inspires everyone to live fully and happily.
From our first meeting with Sharing and Caring Hands and Mary’s Place in December 2011, we knew we wanted to connect in its community and do our part to make a positive impact. So, we initiated this t-shirt art project as our introduction to the community – afterall, we can be involved in many ways even before we have toothbrushes to give:)
OUR FOUR VOLUNTEERS for the project: Michele Tobin, a friend of Bogobrush and Director from the Walker Gift Shop, Andrew Gaylord, a St. Paul teacher and Bogobrush supporter, Heather, Bogobrush CEO and David, Bogobrush Director of Finance, were there were there on behalf of Bogobrush.
Michele brought her experience as an art teacher, and an amazingly generous amount of art supplies for the kids to use from the Walker’s education department. Andrew shared his ability to connect with kids personally, engaging them into conversation and curiosity. Together, we were able to provide not only an art experience, but a community experience – exposing them to art, oral health, education, and fun.
MORE THAN ANYTHING, this experience validates that Bogobrush does much more than simply give a toothbrush to someone in need, and that a toothbrush company can help grow communities and provide experiences that will encourage and empower everyone to be healthier for themselves and for the world. Bogobrush is the little toothbrush that could, and together, we’ll make a big difference, one toothbrush at a time.
Let’s give toothbrushes to these kids, they really deserve it. Simply head to ourshop to get your give on!
For more photos check out our Facebook Album.